Why police blocked Bobi, Zaake travel

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By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU & JAMES KABENGWA

Members of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, and Francis Zaake were on Thursday blocked from flying out of Entebbe airport in their bids to seek treatment abroad.
The police grabbed and booked the duo into Kiruddu Hospital, a satellite branch of the Mulago National Referral Hospital.
The fate of Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake appeared easier for the police to explain, with the security outfit reasoning that he was a suspect who was wanted to face charges.
Mr Zaake, Bobi and a number of MPs and other politicians, including the new MP for Arua Municipality Kassiano Wadri, were embroiled in a spat with security agents on the last day of campaigns for the Arua Municipality MP by-election last month.
Thirty three people, including Bobi Wine and Mr Wadri, have since been charged with treason over allegations of stoning the President’s motorcade in the Arua fracas, where President Museveni had gone to canvass support for his NRM party’s candidate, Ms Nusura Tiperu.
Following the violent episodes that left Bobi Wine’s former driver Yasin Kawuma shot dead and many nursing gunshot wounds with Bobi Wine and Mr Zaake beaten into near coma, President Museveni said Mr Zaake had escaped from police custody.
That was days after the authorities at Lubaga Hospital in Kampala said Mr Zaake had been dropped at the facility by unidentified people, unconscious and unable to move.

What next?
It was not clear by press time whether the two MPs had been given any treatment at Kiruddu Hospital or whether any medical examinations had been carried out on them.
Mulago hospital authorities, who oversee the medical services at Kiruddu, were noncommittal on whatever was going on.
But what was evident was that by yesterday morning, the police had taken over security at the hospital and unarmed uniformed officers were seen patrolling the entire seventh floor where the two MPs were admitted as riot police personnel also camped at the gate.
Mr Enock Kusasira, the Mulago hospital spokesperson, referred Saturday Monitor to Health minister, Ms Jane Ruth Acheng, whereas the facility’s executive director, Dr Byarugaba Baterana, said he would only be in position to speak on the matter later on in the day.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima confirmed that Mr Zaake was under arrest and was being treated in a government hospital under the watchful eye of the police. But he said Bobi Wine was only being subjected to medical examination by government doctors for police to get medical report to be used in investigations into his claims of torture.
“He (Kyagulanyi) claims torture and there is an investigation that is being done by CID. How else can we do it without carrying out examinations?” Mr Kayima quipped.
Asked whether Mr Kyagulanyi had reported a case of torture to warrant an investigation by the police, Mr Kayima said there was no complaint.
On why the CID detectives would investigate torture claims without a formal complaint, Mr Kayima said: “What is your concern? Why shouldn’t we do it? It was alleged (that he was tortured) and it is important that we get that information and act on it.”
He said police give preference to reports from government doctors so that they can be compared with those of the private medical facilities.

More charges?
Saturday Monitor has, however, learnt that police intends to charge Bobi Wine with other yet to be disclosed cases and that is the reason he was blocked from travelling to Washington, US, for medication.
Mr Asuman Basalirwa, one of the lawyers for Bobi Wine, told Saturday Monitor that Ms Grace Akullo, the CID director, told him that a new file had been opened against Bobi Wine, hence the rearrest.
Bobi Wine spent nearly a week in military detention at Makindye Military Police barracks in Kampala after he had been charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
The military had claimed that the weapons had been discovered in his hotel room in Arua, but the charge would later be dropped without any explanation about the guns.
Shortly after the charges of illegal possession of firearms were dropped, the military court sitting in Gulu handed Bobi Wine over to police and he was shortly afterwards arraigned in court and added to the charge sheet of those accused of treason to raise the number to 33.
Mr Zaake is expected to become the 34th on the list.

Barbie alleges torture
Bobi Wine’s wife, Ms Barbie Kyagulanyi, posted on her Facebook account on Thursday night claiming that her husband, who has been seen walking only with the support of others, was manhandled again and beaten up by police officers who bundled him into a waiting ambulance.
“Bobi has been violently arrested by security forces at Entebbe airport as he was heading to Washington, US, for treatment even when he has clearance from court to travel,” she wrote.
“He told me that as soon as they closed the ambulance doors, he was again brutally beaten in front of a government doctor. They switched off the lights in the ambulance and started battering him! Bobi is now back in pain and he is dumped at Kiruddu hospital,” she added.

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